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Drinking Water

Dublin water: Boil notice stills stands as disruption enters its second week

And what are Total Coliforms anyway?

RESIDENTS IN AFFECTED areas of Clontarf are being told to continue to boil tap water for drinking and cooking while further tests are carried out.

The problems with water in the St. Lawrence’s District Meter Area have been ongoing since last Monday, when residents in around 1,400 homes were told not to use their tap water, even if it had been boiled.

Later last week residents were told that following bacterial tests water could be boiled for use. The affected area lies between the Howth Road and Castle Avenue and from the Howth Road at Collins Avenue to Clontarf Road.

The most recent update –  which a Dublin City Council spokesperson told this morning still stands – indicates that tap water can be used directly for bathing, washing dishes and doing laundry, but that it must be boiled for consumption.

Dublin City Council has confirmed that no E. Coli has been detected in any of the water samples tested to date, but that some of the samples have indicated the presence of Total Coliforms above the standards set out in the Water Supply Regulations.

The council is reassuring residents that Total Coliform bacteria are not likely to cause illness.

Testing is to continue in the coming days and Dublin City Council has said it is:

… very appreciative of the resident’s forebearance and the courtesy and support of our tanker crews and water service staff as they work to identify the location of the problem.

Water tankers will be available on Castle Avenue at Kincora Avenue and on St. Lawrence Road at the Howth Road until 7.30pm this evening.

What are Total Coliforms?

According to the HSE:

The presence of certain bacteria such as total coliforms may not necessarily mean an actual risk to human health but does provide a warning of a failure in water treatment or in the integrity of the distribution system.
While  E. coli is the only member of the total coliform group that is found exclusively in faeces, other members of the group are found naturally in water, soil and vegetation, as well as in faeces.
In a distribution system, public health decisions should not be based solely on the presence of total coliforms, in the absence of E. Coli, unless the investigation indicates a problem that results in a threat to public health.

Total coliforms do not just come from human and animal waste. They may also come from soil, vegetation, insects etc. Their presence is typically not tolerated in drinking water supplies.

Are you affected by the water disruption? Let us know how it’s going. Email

Last week: Dublin water disruption: Tests show ‘improvement’ in supply>

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